Come Play With Us · February 6-9, 2018 · Gainesville, Florida

We’re using human-centered design and the best of what science teaches us about behavior, learning and ideation to create a frank experience that will change you.

Everything you love is part of the game: social scientists whose insight makes us better at everything we do, thoughtful speakers in the intimate setting of the Hippodrome and connections with people like you who don’t settle for small change. You’ll have more time to apply, study and dissect ideas. You’ll leave with a deeper understanding of the science of change.

Registration is open, and our best rates are available until November 30, 2017.

The frank gathering is a community of communications strategists, behavioral and social scientists, artists, funders, business leaders and advocates who connect evidence to action for on-the-ground impact. Woven into the fabric of the annual gathering, frank scholar 2018 provides a unique opportunity to share research with academic colleagues as well as influential practitioners and foundations dedicated to creating positive social change.

 

Our 2018 Speakers:

  • Lizz Winstead
    Comedian, Author, Activist and host for frank2018

    Lizz Winstead has built her career hilariously responding to the world. As co-creator and head writer of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” Winstead has forever changed the way people get their news. As co-founder of Air America Radio, she laid the foundation for such personalities as Al Franken and Marc Maron, all while hosting her own show called “Unfiltered”, sharing the mic every morning with the amazing Rachel Maddow and Hip Hop legend, Chuck D.  She continues to tour, bringing her rapid response brand of comedy to theatres across the country and in 2014, was initiated into the Harvard Lampoon.

    Winstead has now taken her satirical brilliance one step further, combining it with her passion for reproductive justice to form her latest passion project, Lady Parts Justice, a non profit organization made up of comedians, writers and technologists creating videos that use humor and outrage to expose sexist, anti choice local politicians in all 50 state legislatures while providing support to clinics around the country, working to remove the stigma around abortion.

    Winstead’s activism includes an ongoing comedy tour to raise money and awareness for Planned Parenthood and independent abortion providers and to date, she has raised over $7 million. The tour was turned into a documentary short called Smear Campaign, which won “Best Documentary Comedy Short” at the Atlanta Documentary Film Festival. Her advocacy work has been recognized by many reproductive rights organizations including NARAL Champion’s of Choice awards.

    In addition to performing and reproductive justice work, Winstead authored Lizz Free Or Die, a funny and touching book of personal essays, that Elle magazine called, “Sharply witty and iconoclastic”

    Lizz’s talents as a comedian and media visionary have been recognized by The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Entertainment Weekly’s 100 most Creative People issue among other print media. Winstead continues to appear on Comedy Central, HBO’s Real Time With Bill Maher and NPR, as well as her regular commentary on MSNBC

  • Travis Atria
    Author, Musician

    Travis Atria, MAMC 2007, is the co-author of Traveling Soul: The Life of Curtis Mayfield, a recently published book on soul musician Curtis Mayfield. Mayfield was one of the seminal vocalists and most talented guitarists of his era. He was known for his role a social critic and his music had a vital influence on the civil rights movement.

    Atria, a resident of Gainesville, is a writer, audio engineer and musician. His work has been featured in print and online magazines including Wax Poetics, Rolling Stone, The Believer, Paste and many more. Previously, he worked for ten years for The Gainesville Sun as the arts and culture correspondent. His music has been featured on television and in film and he has performed at Bonnaroo and SXSW. On October 14, Gold Robot Records will release a remastered cut of his band Morning Bell’s 2013 album, “Boa Noite.”

    In Traveling Soul, Atria and Mayfield’s son Todd, tell the story of a man who was born into dire poverty and raised in the slums of Chicago yet became a musical prodigy. In the 1960s he became a pioneer, opening his own label and production company and working with many other top artists, including the Staple Singers. Curtis’s life was famously cut short by an accident that left him paralyzed, but in his declining health he received the long-awaited recognition of the music industry.

  • Duane Bray
    IDEO

    Duane Bray, partner at IDEO and global head of talent for the firm is passionate about workplace innovation, values and purpose and aligning business needs with individual passions.

    Duane has a long history at IDEO, joining in 1995 to lead and develop the discipline of interaction design, now one of the firm’s most sought-after capabilities. For years he led the firm’s digital business, working in San Francisco and London, and developing relationships across consumer software, mobile and tablet and web services.

    With a background in communication design and interaction design, Duane has led or contributed to scores of projects at IDEO, from digital products and services, to organizational strategies. His clients include American Express, BMW, Lincoln Center and United Airlines among many others.

    His work today in talent covers the spectrum from attracting talent to building cultures of learning to establishing best practices around benefits and policies. His work is both inwardly and outwardly focused, balancing IDEO’s talent strategy with advisement and consulting for clients.

    Prior to IDEO, Duane worked at Pentagram Design, where he established an interaction design practice in their San Francisco studio. Duane holds an MF from the University of Florida and was recently awarded an Outstanding Achievement Award as a prestigious alumnus. Duane counts bubblegum pop music and his customized Mini Cooper among his other passions and pursuits.

  • Troy Campbell
    Design Psychologist, frank Research Chair

    Troy Campbell is a design psychologist who uses and develops psychology theories to design better experiences, communications, and understandings of people.

    He studies what people love, like, and find most important from our favorite hobbies to our cherished beliefs. Through these ideas, he studies how we can sometimes lie to ourselves, how we can enjoy life and how we can be better people to ourselves and others.

     Formally, he studies consumer enjoyment, identity, and overcoming resistance in communication (such as scientific communication). He received his Ph.D from Duke University, formerly worked as a Disney Imagineer, and grew up in the shadows of Hollywood working in film and web media. In high school he won “most likely to join the circus” for his enthusiasm and acrobatics. He does fewer backflips today but still signs every email, “Enthusiastically, Troy.”

  • Ann Christiano
    Frank Karel Chair in Public Interest Communications

    Ann Christiano is the Frank Karel Chair in Public Interest Communications at the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications, where she is working to establish public interest communications as a discipline through which people use strategic communications to drive social change.

    She is developing an undergraduate and graduate-level curriculum, and directs the frank gathering, which brings together strategists, funders and scholars who work to build a better world. She also directs frank academy, a communications development program for scientists and changemakers.

    Before she joined UF, she was a senior communications officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, where she directed communications efforts for programs focused on improving mental health, advancing long term care, reducing violence and improving health for people in jail and prison.

  • Sarah Corbett
    Craftivist Collective

    Sarah Corbett is an award-winning campaigner. She grew up in a low-income area of the UK into an activist family and has worked as a professional for 10 years, most recently with Oxfam GB.

    She started doing craftivism (craft + activism) in 2008 as a reaction to traditional aggressive or quick forms of activism. Due to demand Sarah set up the global and award-winning Craftivist Collective in 2009 which now has thousands of supporters across the world taking part in her craftivism projects. Corbett is one of the leading spokespeople in the craftivism movement (with media across the world including French TV & Italian TV) contributing to books and regularly gives talks & lectures around the world including Bauhaus University and Beckmans in Stockholm.

    Sarah works with art institutions such as V&A & Tate as well as a consultant for charities such as Save the Children & Unicef. She has collaborated with cult jewellers Tatty Devine & Secret Cinema amongst others. Sarah also sells products & exhibits her own craftivism work around the world. Her book “A Little Book of Craftivism’” was released October 2013. Her book “How To Be A Craftivist: the art of gentle protest” was released October 2017.

  • Aaron Foley
    City of Detroit

    Aaron Foley is the chief storyteller for the City of Detroit, a newly appointed position created by Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. As chief storyteller, Aaron manages a newly created news site, TheNeighborhoods.org, as well as executive produces video content for Channel 21, one of the city’s four cable channels — all with the goal of sharing stories of Detroiters across the city.

    Aaron is the editor of “The Detroit Neighborhood Guidebook” (August 2017) and “How to Live in Detroit Without Being a Jackass” (December 2015). Prior to joining the City of Detroit, Aaron was editor of BLAC Detroit Magazine and has freelanced for several national and local publications. He is a Detroit native and resident.

  • Fritz Grobe & Stephen Voltz
    Eepybird Studios

    Stephen Voltz and Fritz Grobe are the co-founders of Eepybird Studios, which has been a pioneer in creating viral videos for global brands since 2006.

    From their classic video featuring the explosive combination of Coke and Mentos, which Advertising Age called “the most important commercial content of the year,” to their viral campaigns for brands like Disney, OfficeMax, Coca-Cola, and McDonald’s, Eepybird Studios’ videos have been seen over 150 million times. They have received two Emmy nominations and four Webby Awards for their viral video work, and Eepybird was voted “Game Changer of the Decade” on GoViral.com.

    Stephen and Fritz have appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman, Ellen, The Today Show, Mythbusters, and more. They have performed in Las Vegas, New York, Paris, London, Tokyo, and Istanbul.

    They come by their rigorously analytical approach to Internet video honestly. Stephen has a law degree from NYU and practiced as a trial lawyer in Boston for 20 years. Fritz studied mathematics at Yale University until he dropped out of school to become an award-winning circus performer.

  • Jeff Kreisler
    Comedian & Author

    Jeff Kreisler is just a typical Princeton educated lawyer turned speaker, award-winning comedian, best-selling author, pundit and champion for behavioral science. He uses humor & reason to understand, explain and change the world.

    His second book, Dollars And Sense: How We Misthink Money and How To Spend Smarter – about behavioral economics, co-written with Dan Ariely – was published by HarperCollins in November 2017 to unrealistic acclaim*.

    Jeff is also Editor-in-Chief of PeopleScience.com (forthcoming site advocating applied behavioral science), won the Bill Hicks Spirit Award for Thought Provoking Comedy, writes for TV, politicians & CEOs, has appeared regularly on CNN, FoxNews, MSNBC, Current TV & Sirius/XM and toured most of the known world.

    The New York Times calls him “Delectable,” Rachel Maddow says, “You’ll be laughing all the way to the bank” and his kids still think he’s “cool.”  

    He specializes in money, politics and other human behavior.

    His first book was the satire Get Rich Cheating.

  • Tania Mejia
    Jolt

    Tania Mejia is the communications director at Jolt, a Texas-based nonprofit working to increase Latino civic engagement. Tania oversees earned media and digital strategies to spur young people to action.

    Previously, Tania worked as State Deputy Digital Director for Hillary for America in Florida. Tania helped build the state’s digital team and oversaw the SMS program, reaching almost 3 million voters. She also managed a digital organizing training program for 700 field organizers.

    In 2015, Tania served as Deputy Press Secretary for the U.S. General Services Administration. In this role, Tania was responsible for developing and executing communications strategies for the agency’s technology portfolio. She was also responsible for managing the agency’s digital communications program.

    Prior to joining the U.S. General Services, Tania served as Special Assistant to the U.S. Secretary of Labor. She helped plan and execute communications campaigns to support White House priorities including raising the minimum wage, modernizing overtime pay rules and promoting paid leave in the workplace. She also served as on-the-record spokesperson for paid leave and LGBT labor issues for national news outlets.

  • Jeff Orlowski
    Exposure Labs

    Jeff Orlowski is an Emmy-winning filmmaker and founder of Exposure Labs. His latest project, Chasing Coral, is a documentary film about divers, scientists and photographers around the world who mount an epic underwater campaign to document the disappearance of coral reefs. This work continues the momentum of Chasing Ice, for which Orlowski also served as director, producer and cinematographer. After premiering at Sundance, Chasing Ice received an Academy Award® nomination, and won an Emmy® award for Outstanding Nature Programming. In 2016, Orlowski was named the inaugural Sundance Discovery Impact Fellow for environmental filmmaking.

    To maximize the impact of film, Orlowski founded Exposure Labs, a company dedicated to both quality storytelling and powerful campaigns. For their work on Chasing Ice, Exposure Labs won the 2016 BritDoc Impact Award recognizing “documentaries that have made the biggest impact on society.”

    In 2017, Chasing Coral released globally on Netflix as a Netflix Original Documentary, was awarded the US Documentary Award at Sundance and has received many other awards and accolades at film festivals around the globe.

  • Saleem Reshamwala
    Kid Ethnic

    Saleem Reshamwala is a mediamaker whose recent work has focused on culture, race and music. Recent awards include Best Music Video at the Hip Hop Film Festival in Harlem (for G Yamazawa’s  “North Cack”) and an Emmy-nomination for his work on implicit bias and race while at the New York Times.

    Saleem has also created work for The Guardian, LinkedIn, Soccer.com and the PBS Digital Studios series Beat Making Lab, for which he filmed rappers and beatmakers in Senegal, Ethiopia, Fiji, Panama, Haiti and the Democratic Republic of Congo. He has studied, worked or hung out in 50 countries.

  • Chelsea Schein
    frank Prize Finalist

    Chelsea Schein is a doctoral candidate in social psychology at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Schein is committed to contributing to the scientific understanding of morality. In her research, she adopt methods of social cognition to explore how people form moral judgments and how understanding our moral psychology can increase well-being and create a more tolerant society. Her work has been published in many top academic journals, including: Personality and Social Psychology Review, Emotion, Psychological Inquiry, Journal of Experimental Psychology, and Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. As a doctoral student, she works alongside Dr. Kurt Gray, assistant professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, in the Mind Perception and Morality Lab. As a graduate student, she developed and taught courses on applying principles of social psychology to pressing social concerns.

  • Bahia Shehab
    American University in Cairo

    Bahia Shehab is associate professor of design and founder of the graphic design program at the American University in Cairo where she developed a full design curriculum focused on the visual culture of the Arab world. Her artwork has been on display in museums, galleries and streets around the world, and was featured in the 2015 documentary Nefertiti’s Daughters.

    She is the recipient of many international recognitions and awards, which include the UNESCO-Sharjah Prize for Arab Culture (2016), Prince Claus Award (2016), TED Senior fellowship (2016), BBC 100 Women list (2013). Her publications include A Thousand Times NO: The Visual History of Lam-Alif.

  • Michael Tran
    Playworks

    Michael Tran (aka MT) got introduced to Playworks back in 2008 as a Flex Coordinator. He continued as a full-time Program Coordinator at an East San Jose school from 2008-2010. After his two years of bringing safe meaningful play directly to students, he served as a Program Manager where he supported a team of Program Coordinators bring play to their schools and communities.

    Over the past 5 years, he has been a National Trainer where he has trained and supported adults in building play at their school sites and youth development programs. His current role with Playworks is Master Trainer. Throughout his time with Playworks he has developed a great passion for play and what it can do to bring people together, as well as a pretty mean pirate accent.

    He is looking forward to sharing this passion for play and all that he has learned with everyone who is as passionate about bringing play into their lives. When he is not playing, he loves to do his other passion which is belting out songs as he sings along on the radio in the privacy of his car.

  • Eric Asche
    Truth Initiative

    CMO of Truth Initiative, Eric Asche is credited with developing some of the most successful, life-saving public education campaigns in history. The truth brand is ubiquitous in pop culture and was named one of the top campaigns of the 21st Century by AdAge.

    Before joining Truth Initiative, he was at GSD&M in Austin, Texas. There, he worked on a portfolio of brands that included AT&T, Southwest Airlines and Rolling Stone.

    Prior to that, Eric was part of a business development team at a technology start-up during the dot-com boom…and bust. You can ask him about lessons learned over a beer.

    Eric is known as a creative leader and was named a top health influencer by PRWeek in 2016.  He is attached to campaigns that have won hundreds of industry awards over the years, and most importantly, have been credited with saving hundreds of thousands of young people from becoming addicted to cigarettes.

    He lives in DC with his wife and three small boys.  As such, he consumes copious amounts of coffee.

  • Benjamin Booker
    Musician

    As a University of Florida College of Journalism graduate, Benjamin Booker already has a name for himself here in Gainesville. While Booker is an accomplished musician, having played at festivals the likes of SXSW, he also uses his talent to preach for change. More specifically, Booker is outspoken about his convictions considering police violence, the social issues surrounding the black community as a whole, and gun violence. In the songful track titled “Witness”, Booker speaks out about the false pretenses that often mean the life of another black person. He sings, “Thought that we saw that he had a gun / Thought that it looked like he started to run.”

  • Nick Briz
    New-media Artist

    Nick Briz is a new-media artist, educator and organizer based in Chicago, IL. His work focuses on digital culture by investigating the promises and perils of living in an increasingly digital and networked world. He is an active participant in various online communities and conversations including glitch art, net art, remix culture, digital rights, Internet ecology and digital literacy.

    His work has been exhibited internationally at major festivals such as FILE Media Arts Festival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and the Images Festival in Toronto Canada, as well as major cultural institutions such as the Museum of Moving Image in New York City, the Museo De Arte Contemporaneo de Caracas, Venezuela and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Tate Exchange in London, among others. His work has been reviewed and discussed in international print publications and online platforms such as Neural Magazine (Bari, Italy), Rhizome.org (NYC) and Furtherfield (London) which are among the most influential in the field of New Media Art, as well as in traditional news outlets such as the Boston Globe, El Mundo (Spain), El Espectador (Colombia), and in an array of art and design publications including VICE, Fast Company, Art Slant and Complex.

    He is Adjunct Assistant Professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago as well as the Chief Creative Director of the digital agency Branger_Briz, a collective of artists, strategists, educators and programmers specializing in conceiving and developing custom innovative digital projects for a wide range of clients. As an organizer he has been invited to curate events at various international galleries and conferences, he co-founded and ran an international New Media Art conference called GLI.TC/H (2010-2012), co-ran an experimental performance series in Chicago called NO-MEDIA (2012-2016), and is currently co-organizing a lecture series called d.r.e.a.m. (data rules everything around me).

  • Kirk Cheyfitz
    A More Perfect Story

    Founder of Story Worldwide, the path-breaking content advertising agency, and a partner and co-founder of A More Perfect Story, Kirk Cheyfitz is a recognized pioneer in non-traditional advertising and content marketing, an award-winning journalist, author of business and children’s books, speaker and entrepreneur. He was a Pulitzer finalist for investigative reporting at the Detroit Free Press and a finalist for the National Magazine Award, among many national and regional journalism honors. A former senior executive at McCann Worldgroup before starting his own agency, he has created work for global clients, including Unilever, General Mills, Lexus Division of Toyota, Google, Bank of America and many nonprofits, such as The Carnegie Corporation. He is a long-time member of the Global Advisory Board of the Wharton School’s Future of Advertising Program.

  • Erica Ciszek
    frank Prize FInalist

    Erica Ciszek, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in Integrated Strategic Communication. She is a New England native, hailing from Boston where she worked as a strategic analyst for Mullen Advertising and Public Relations. She has worked in strategic analytics, market research and has contributed to LGBT newspapers and magazines in New England. Dr. Ciszek’s research is focused on the intersections of identity, communication and technology and how organizations communicate with marginalized and minority populations. Her research has been published in peer reviewed journals, including Public Relations Review and the Journal of Public Relations. She has a chapter in the first ever book on LGBT issues in strategic communication.

  • Elizabeth Cushing
    Playworks

    Elizabeth Cushing, president and COO, has been with Playworks for ten years and has taken on ever-increasing responsibility in strategic growth planning, development, foundation relations, communications, and spearheading Playworks’ partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to achieve scale. Elizabeth has more than 20 years of nonprofit management experience with youth development and children-serving organizations. As president, Elizabeth leads the senior management team and is responsible for ensuring that all strategic targets are met across the organization.

  • Andy Goodman
    The Goodman Center

    Andy Goodman is co-founder and director of The Goodman Center, which teaches communications and marketing professionals how to reach more people with more impact. Along with Storytelling as Best Practice, he is author of Why Bad Ads Happen to Good Causes and Why Bad Presentations Happen to Good Causes. He also publishes a monthly journal, free-range thinking, to share best practices in the field of public interest communications.

    Andy is internationally known for his speeches and workshops on storytelling and has led over 500 trainings for clients including CARE, The Nature Conservancy, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, NOAA, the San Diego Zoo, MIT, Princeton, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, GE, Bank of America, and many others.

    He has designed communications curriculum for the College for Social Innovation in Boston as well as for the African Leadership University in Mauritius. When not teaching, traveling, or recovering from teaching and traveling, Andy serves on the board of directors of Imagine LA, a nonprofit working to end family homelessness in Los Angeles.

  • Georgia Hirsty
    Greenpeace US

    Georgia Faye Hirsty is the National Warehouse Program Manager for Greenpeace US and a member of its Action Team. In addition to being used for training, idea development, and action prep, Greenpeace Warehouses also serve as community centers, rooted in the understanding that Greenpeace’s mission necessarily includes real solidarity with other environmental and social justice work.

    Georgia is also the co-founder and co-director of Frailty Myths, an organization that is dismantling the impacts of patriarchy through hands on, skill-building workshops that empower participants.  She has been working in social and environmental justice movements for the past 10 years, focused specifically on both the use of peaceful direct action as a tactic for effecting meaningful change and developing, then implementing, experiential learning models that engender powerful, transformational moments in peoples’ lives.

  • Tom Liacas
    NetChange Consulting

    Tom Liacas cut his teeth as a strategist pioneering distributed organizing tactics as global coordinator of Adbusters’ Buy Nothing Day in the late nineties. In the course of his career, he has also spent time in academia, earning an M.A. in Media Studies.

    During his years in the private sector, he co-founded a publicly-traded social media agency, developed patented software and led online stakeholder dialogue projects.

    For the last few years, he has come back to his principal passion –  helping social movements and causes gain traction through the application of new networked strategies. He now divides his time between his position as Senior Strategist at NetChange Consulting and as founder/chief tinkerer at Blueprints for Change, his pro-bono project.

  • Annie Neimand
    frank Research Director and Principal Investigator

    For nearly five years, Annie Neimand has led the research arm of frank, connecting the field of public interest communications practitioners to research. She has worked as a research consultant for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the Rita Allen Foundation. She is part of the frank Academy Training team, where she integrates the research from a range of disciplines into communication trainings for scientists and non-profit leaders. Trainees have included scientists and program officers at the National Institute for Food and Agriculture; senior military officers from nations around the world for the U.S. Defense Department and State Department; scientists, program leaders and educators; and foundation and nonprofit communicators.

    Her writing has been featured in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, The Conversation, Quartz, Salon, The Huffington Post, and Newsweek. She has given many talks on the science of science communication, the science of storytelling, and the science of strategic communication for social change. Invited talks include, among others, the Stanford Social Innovation Reviews’ 2017 Nonprofit Management Institute, Media Impact Funders meetings on the science of science communication, and the Association of Independent Research Institutes. Annie is a trained qualitative researcher, with expertise in interviewing, focus groups and ethnography. She is finishing her Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of Florida. Her areas of study include the social and psychological underpinnings of public interest communications, science communication, and social movements.

  • Eli Pariser
    Good Media Group, Upworthy

    President of Good Media Group, Eli Pariser has dedicated his career to figuring out how technology can elevate important topics in the world — as an author, an online organizer, and most recently, as a co-founder of Upworthy. He is the author of the bestselling book “The Filter Bubble”.

    Eli served as the executive director of MoveOn.org from 2004-2009, growing membership to more than 5 million members and raising over $120 million. He also co-founded Avaaz.org, which is now the largest online advocacy organization in the world. In 2011, Eli published the bestselling book “The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding from You.” Eli founded Upworthy with longtime collaborator Peter Koechley in March 2012. The pair set out to prove once and for all that what’s important can be incredibly popular, even if what’s popular isn’t usually important.

  • Tina Rosenberg
    Solutions Journalism Network, New York Times

    Tina Rosenberg, a co-founder of the Solutions Journalism Network, is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author.  She co-authors the “Fixes” column in the New York Times.  She is a former editorial writer for The New York Times and a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine.

    Her books include  Children of Cain: Violence and the Violent in Latin America and The Haunted Land: Facing Europe’s Ghosts After Communism, which won the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award.   She has written for dozens of magazines, including The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Foreign Policy and The Atlantic.  She is the author, most recently, of Join the Club: How Peer Pressure Can Transform the World.

  • Lisa Schneider
    Merriam-Webster

    Chief Digital Officer & Publisher at Merriam-Webster, Lisa Schneider leads digital and execution across content and product development, user experience, and technology. She has redefined the dictionary for the digital age through a combination of technology upgrades and content/social strategy, changing people’s perception of the brand from a “dusty book on the shelf” to a timely, relevant resource and commentary users turn to every day. Under her leadership, Merriam-Webster has won numerous awards, and she was recently featured on the AdAge Creativity 50 list.

    Previously, Lisa held executive roles in digital strategy and product development at Penton, Budget Travel, Reader’s Digest, and Bridal Guide.

  • Hana Shepherd
    frank Prize Finalist

    Hana Shepherd is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Rutgers University. She received her Ph.D. from Princeton in 2011 and she was a Postdoctoral Research Associate and Lecturer at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and the Department of Psychology at Princeton University from 2011-2013. She studies social networks, culture and cognition, and organizations. She is interested in how different types of social processes contribute to social change. She uses diverse methods such as network analysis, lab and field-based experiments, interviews, and archival research. Her recent projects include a year-long field experiment in 56 middle schools that used theories about social norms in relation to social networks to change school-level behavioral patterns. Her current projects examine the relationship between organizational context and network structure; how organizations implement new law in schools and in local labor enforcement offices; and how social networks can best be leveraged for social change in workplaces.

  • Professor Toon
    Producer, Rapper, Songwriter

    Professor Toon, a Durham, NC, producer, rapper and songwriter, combines intricate detail in lyricism with a sharp delivery and niche cadences over a buffet of smooth, 808-heavy sonic backdrops. Professor Toon attended Durham School of the Arts but dropped out and chose to pursue a street education instead. Professor Toon’s music is full of self-reflection, anger and confidence and his live show is energetic, captivating and emotional, yet participatory. He has performed alongside touring acts including Danny Brown, Run The Jewels, Lil Dicky, Made of Oak, Cherub, Big KRIT, Meek Mill, Big Sean, August Alsina and Mike Posner.

  • Lizz Winstead
    Comedian, Author, Activist and host for frank2018

    Lizz Winstead has built her career hilariously responding to the world. As co-creator and head writer of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” Winstead has forever changed the way people get their news. As co-founder of Air America Radio, she laid the foundation for such personalities as Al Franken and Marc Maron, all while hosting her own show called “Unfiltered”, sharing the mic every morning with the amazing Rachel Maddow and Hip Hop legend, Chuck D.  She continues to tour, bringing her rapid response brand of comedy to theatres across the country and in 2014, was initiated into the Harvard Lampoon.

    Winstead has now taken her satirical brilliance one step further, combining it with her passion for reproductive justice to form her latest passion project, Lady Parts Justice, a non profit organization made up of comedians, writers and technologists creating videos that use humor and outrage to expose sexist, anti choice local politicians in all 50 state legislatures while providing support to clinics around the country, working to remove the stigma around abortion.

    Winstead’s activism includes an ongoing comedy tour to raise money and awareness for Planned Parenthood and independent abortion providers and to date, she has raised over $7 million. The tour was turned into a documentary short called Smear Campaign, which won “Best Documentary Comedy Short” at the Atlanta Documentary Film Festival. Her advocacy work has been recognized by many reproductive rights organizations including NARAL Champion’s of Choice awards.

    In addition to performing and reproductive justice work, Winstead authored Lizz Free Or Die, a funny and touching book of personal essays, that Elle magazine called, “Sharply witty and iconoclastic”

    Lizz’s talents as a comedian and media visionary have been recognized by The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Entertainment Weekly’s 100 most Creative People issue among other print media. Winstead continues to appear on Comedy Central, HBO’s Real Time With Bill Maher and NPR, as well as her regular commentary on MSNBC

  • Travis Atria
    Author, Musician

    Travis Atria, MAMC 2007, is the co-author of Traveling Soul: The Life of Curtis Mayfield, a recently published book on soul musician Curtis Mayfield. Mayfield was one of the seminal vocalists and most talented guitarists of his era. He was known for his role a social critic and his music had a vital influence on the civil rights movement.

    Atria, a resident of Gainesville, is a writer, audio engineer and musician. His work has been featured in print and online magazines including Wax Poetics, Rolling Stone, The Believer, Paste and many more. Previously, he worked for ten years for The Gainesville Sun as the arts and culture correspondent. His music has been featured on television and in film and he has performed at Bonnaroo and SXSW. On October 14, Gold Robot Records will release a remastered cut of his band Morning Bell’s 2013 album, “Boa Noite.”

    In Traveling Soul, Atria and Mayfield’s son Todd, tell the story of a man who was born into dire poverty and raised in the slums of Chicago yet became a musical prodigy. In the 1960s he became a pioneer, opening his own label and production company and working with many other top artists, including the Staple Singers. Curtis’s life was famously cut short by an accident that left him paralyzed, but in his declining health he received the long-awaited recognition of the music industry.

  • Duane Bray
    IDEO

    Duane Bray, partner at IDEO and global head of talent for the firm is passionate about workplace innovation, values and purpose and aligning business needs with individual passions.

    Duane has a long history at IDEO, joining in 1995 to lead and develop the discipline of interaction design, now one of the firm’s most sought-after capabilities. For years he led the firm’s digital business, working in San Francisco and London, and developing relationships across consumer software, mobile and tablet and web services.

    With a background in communication design and interaction design, Duane has led or contributed to scores of projects at IDEO, from digital products and services, to organizational strategies. His clients include American Express, BMW, Lincoln Center and United Airlines among many others.

    His work today in talent covers the spectrum from attracting talent to building cultures of learning to establishing best practices around benefits and policies. His work is both inwardly and outwardly focused, balancing IDEO’s talent strategy with advisement and consulting for clients.

    Prior to IDEO, Duane worked at Pentagram Design, where he established an interaction design practice in their San Francisco studio. Duane holds an MF from the University of Florida and was recently awarded an Outstanding Achievement Award as a prestigious alumnus. Duane counts bubblegum pop music and his customized Mini Cooper among his other passions and pursuits.

  • Troy Campbell
    Design Psychologist, frank Research Chair

    Troy Campbell is a design psychologist who uses and develops psychology theories to design better experiences, communications, and understandings of people.

    He studies what people love, like, and find most important from our favorite hobbies to our cherished beliefs. Through these ideas, he studies how we can sometimes lie to ourselves, how we can enjoy life and how we can be better people to ourselves and others.

     Formally, he studies consumer enjoyment, identity, and overcoming resistance in communication (such as scientific communication). He received his Ph.D from Duke University, formerly worked as a Disney Imagineer, and grew up in the shadows of Hollywood working in film and web media. In high school he won “most likely to join the circus” for his enthusiasm and acrobatics. He does fewer backflips today but still signs every email, “Enthusiastically, Troy.”

  • Ann Christiano
    Frank Karel Chair in Public Interest Communications

    Ann Christiano is the Frank Karel Chair in Public Interest Communications at the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications, where she is working to establish public interest communications as a discipline through which people use strategic communications to drive social change.

    She is developing an undergraduate and graduate-level curriculum, and directs the frank gathering, which brings together strategists, funders and scholars who work to build a better world. She also directs frank academy, a communications development program for scientists and changemakers.

    Before she joined UF, she was a senior communications officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, where she directed communications efforts for programs focused on improving mental health, advancing long term care, reducing violence and improving health for people in jail and prison.

  • Sarah Corbett
    Craftivist Collective

    Sarah Corbett is an award-winning campaigner. She grew up in a low-income area of the UK into an activist family and has worked as a professional for 10 years, most recently with Oxfam GB.

    She started doing craftivism (craft + activism) in 2008 as a reaction to traditional aggressive or quick forms of activism. Due to demand Sarah set up the global and award-winning Craftivist Collective in 2009 which now has thousands of supporters across the world taking part in her craftivism projects. Corbett is one of the leading spokespeople in the craftivism movement (with media across the world including French TV & Italian TV) contributing to books and regularly gives talks & lectures around the world including Bauhaus University and Beckmans in Stockholm.

    Sarah works with art institutions such as V&A & Tate as well as a consultant for charities such as Save the Children & Unicef. She has collaborated with cult jewellers Tatty Devine & Secret Cinema amongst others. Sarah also sells products & exhibits her own craftivism work around the world. Her book “A Little Book of Craftivism’” was released October 2013. Her book “How To Be A Craftivist: the art of gentle protest” was released October 2017.

  • Aaron Foley
    City of Detroit

    Aaron Foley is the chief storyteller for the City of Detroit, a newly appointed position created by Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. As chief storyteller, Aaron manages a newly created news site, TheNeighborhoods.org, as well as executive produces video content for Channel 21, one of the city’s four cable channels — all with the goal of sharing stories of Detroiters across the city.

    Aaron is the editor of “The Detroit Neighborhood Guidebook” (August 2017) and “How to Live in Detroit Without Being a Jackass” (December 2015). Prior to joining the City of Detroit, Aaron was editor of BLAC Detroit Magazine and has freelanced for several national and local publications. He is a Detroit native and resident.

  • Fritz Grobe & Stephen Voltz
    Eepybird Studios

    Stephen Voltz and Fritz Grobe are the co-founders of Eepybird Studios, which has been a pioneer in creating viral videos for global brands since 2006.

    From their classic video featuring the explosive combination of Coke and Mentos, which Advertising Age called “the most important commercial content of the year,” to their viral campaigns for brands like Disney, OfficeMax, Coca-Cola, and McDonald’s, Eepybird Studios’ videos have been seen over 150 million times. They have received two Emmy nominations and four Webby Awards for their viral video work, and Eepybird was voted “Game Changer of the Decade” on GoViral.com.

    Stephen and Fritz have appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman, Ellen, The Today Show, Mythbusters, and more. They have performed in Las Vegas, New York, Paris, London, Tokyo, and Istanbul.

    They come by their rigorously analytical approach to Internet video honestly. Stephen has a law degree from NYU and practiced as a trial lawyer in Boston for 20 years. Fritz studied mathematics at Yale University until he dropped out of school to become an award-winning circus performer.

  • Jeff Kreisler
    Comedian & Author

    Jeff Kreisler is just a typical Princeton educated lawyer turned speaker, award-winning comedian, best-selling author, pundit and champion for behavioral science. He uses humor & reason to understand, explain and change the world.

    His second book, Dollars And Sense: How We Misthink Money and How To Spend Smarter – about behavioral economics, co-written with Dan Ariely – was published by HarperCollins in November 2017 to unrealistic acclaim*.

    Jeff is also Editor-in-Chief of PeopleScience.com (forthcoming site advocating applied behavioral science), won the Bill Hicks Spirit Award for Thought Provoking Comedy, writes for TV, politicians & CEOs, has appeared regularly on CNN, FoxNews, MSNBC, Current TV & Sirius/XM and toured most of the known world.

    The New York Times calls him “Delectable,” Rachel Maddow says, “You’ll be laughing all the way to the bank” and his kids still think he’s “cool.”  

    He specializes in money, politics and other human behavior.

    His first book was the satire Get Rich Cheating.

  • Tania Mejia
    Jolt

    Tania Mejia is the communications director at Jolt, a Texas-based nonprofit working to increase Latino civic engagement. Tania oversees earned media and digital strategies to spur young people to action.

    Previously, Tania worked as State Deputy Digital Director for Hillary for America in Florida. Tania helped build the state’s digital team and oversaw the SMS program, reaching almost 3 million voters. She also managed a digital organizing training program for 700 field organizers.

    In 2015, Tania served as Deputy Press Secretary for the U.S. General Services Administration. In this role, Tania was responsible for developing and executing communications strategies for the agency’s technology portfolio. She was also responsible for managing the agency’s digital communications program.

    Prior to joining the U.S. General Services, Tania served as Special Assistant to the U.S. Secretary of Labor. She helped plan and execute communications campaigns to support White House priorities including raising the minimum wage, modernizing overtime pay rules and promoting paid leave in the workplace. She also served as on-the-record spokesperson for paid leave and LGBT labor issues for national news outlets.

  • Jeff Orlowski
    Exposure Labs

    Jeff Orlowski is an Emmy-winning filmmaker and founder of Exposure Labs. His latest project, Chasing Coral, is a documentary film about divers, scientists and photographers around the world who mount an epic underwater campaign to document the disappearance of coral reefs. This work continues the momentum of Chasing Ice, for which Orlowski also served as director, producer and cinematographer. After premiering at Sundance, Chasing Ice received an Academy Award® nomination, and won an Emmy® award for Outstanding Nature Programming. In 2016, Orlowski was named the inaugural Sundance Discovery Impact Fellow for environmental filmmaking.

    To maximize the impact of film, Orlowski founded Exposure Labs, a company dedicated to both quality storytelling and powerful campaigns. For their work on Chasing Ice, Exposure Labs won the 2016 BritDoc Impact Award recognizing “documentaries that have made the biggest impact on society.”

    In 2017, Chasing Coral released globally on Netflix as a Netflix Original Documentary, was awarded the US Documentary Award at Sundance and has received many other awards and accolades at film festivals around the globe.

  • Saleem Reshamwala
    Kid Ethnic

    Saleem Reshamwala is a mediamaker whose recent work has focused on culture, race and music. Recent awards include Best Music Video at the Hip Hop Film Festival in Harlem (for G Yamazawa’s  “North Cack”) and an Emmy-nomination for his work on implicit bias and race while at the New York Times.

    Saleem has also created work for The Guardian, LinkedIn, Soccer.com and the PBS Digital Studios series Beat Making Lab, for which he filmed rappers and beatmakers in Senegal, Ethiopia, Fiji, Panama, Haiti and the Democratic Republic of Congo. He has studied, worked or hung out in 50 countries.

  • Chelsea Schein
    frank Prize Finalist

    Chelsea Schein is a doctoral candidate in social psychology at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Schein is committed to contributing to the scientific understanding of morality. In her research, she adopt methods of social cognition to explore how people form moral judgments and how understanding our moral psychology can increase well-being and create a more tolerant society. Her work has been published in many top academic journals, including: Personality and Social Psychology Review, Emotion, Psychological Inquiry, Journal of Experimental Psychology, and Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. As a doctoral student, she works alongside Dr. Kurt Gray, assistant professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, in the Mind Perception and Morality Lab. As a graduate student, she developed and taught courses on applying principles of social psychology to pressing social concerns.

  • Bahia Shehab
    American University in Cairo

    Bahia Shehab is associate professor of design and founder of the graphic design program at the American University in Cairo where she developed a full design curriculum focused on the visual culture of the Arab world. Her artwork has been on display in museums, galleries and streets around the world, and was featured in the 2015 documentary Nefertiti’s Daughters.

    She is the recipient of many international recognitions and awards, which include the UNESCO-Sharjah Prize for Arab Culture (2016), Prince Claus Award (2016), TED Senior fellowship (2016), BBC 100 Women list (2013). Her publications include A Thousand Times NO: The Visual History of Lam-Alif.

  • Michael Tran
    Playworks

    Michael Tran (aka MT) got introduced to Playworks back in 2008 as a Flex Coordinator. He continued as a full-time Program Coordinator at an East San Jose school from 2008-2010. After his two years of bringing safe meaningful play directly to students, he served as a Program Manager where he supported a team of Program Coordinators bring play to their schools and communities.

    Over the past 5 years, he has been a National Trainer where he has trained and supported adults in building play at their school sites and youth development programs. His current role with Playworks is Master Trainer. Throughout his time with Playworks he has developed a great passion for play and what it can do to bring people together, as well as a pretty mean pirate accent.

    He is looking forward to sharing this passion for play and all that he has learned with everyone who is as passionate about bringing play into their lives. When he is not playing, he loves to do his other passion which is belting out songs as he sings along on the radio in the privacy of his car.

  • Eric Asche
    Truth Initiative

    CMO of Truth Initiative, Eric Asche is credited with developing some of the most successful, life-saving public education campaigns in history. The truth brand is ubiquitous in pop culture and was named one of the top campaigns of the 21st Century by AdAge.

    Before joining Truth Initiative, he was at GSD&M in Austin, Texas. There, he worked on a portfolio of brands that included AT&T, Southwest Airlines and Rolling Stone.

    Prior to that, Eric was part of a business development team at a technology start-up during the dot-com boom…and bust. You can ask him about lessons learned over a beer.

    Eric is known as a creative leader and was named a top health influencer by PRWeek in 2016.  He is attached to campaigns that have won hundreds of industry awards over the years, and most importantly, have been credited with saving hundreds of thousands of young people from becoming addicted to cigarettes.

    He lives in DC with his wife and three small boys.  As such, he consumes copious amounts of coffee.

  • Benjamin Booker
    Musician

    As a University of Florida College of Journalism graduate, Benjamin Booker already has a name for himself here in Gainesville. While Booker is an accomplished musician, having played at festivals the likes of SXSW, he also uses his talent to preach for change. More specifically, Booker is outspoken about his convictions considering police violence, the social issues surrounding the black community as a whole, and gun violence. In the songful track titled “Witness”, Booker speaks out about the false pretenses that often mean the life of another black person. He sings, “Thought that we saw that he had a gun / Thought that it looked like he started to run.”

  • Nick Briz
    New-media Artist

    Nick Briz is a new-media artist, educator and organizer based in Chicago, IL. His work focuses on digital culture by investigating the promises and perils of living in an increasingly digital and networked world. He is an active participant in various online communities and conversations including glitch art, net art, remix culture, digital rights, Internet ecology and digital literacy.

    His work has been exhibited internationally at major festivals such as FILE Media Arts Festival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and the Images Festival in Toronto Canada, as well as major cultural institutions such as the Museum of Moving Image in New York City, the Museo De Arte Contemporaneo de Caracas, Venezuela and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Tate Exchange in London, among others. His work has been reviewed and discussed in international print publications and online platforms such as Neural Magazine (Bari, Italy), Rhizome.org (NYC) and Furtherfield (London) which are among the most influential in the field of New Media Art, as well as in traditional news outlets such as the Boston Globe, El Mundo (Spain), El Espectador (Colombia), and in an array of art and design publications including VICE, Fast Company, Art Slant and Complex.

    He is Adjunct Assistant Professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago as well as the Chief Creative Director of the digital agency Branger_Briz, a collective of artists, strategists, educators and programmers specializing in conceiving and developing custom innovative digital projects for a wide range of clients. As an organizer he has been invited to curate events at various international galleries and conferences, he co-founded and ran an international New Media Art conference called GLI.TC/H (2010-2012), co-ran an experimental performance series in Chicago called NO-MEDIA (2012-2016), and is currently co-organizing a lecture series called d.r.e.a.m. (data rules everything around me).

  • Kirk Cheyfitz
    A More Perfect Story

    Founder of Story Worldwide, the path-breaking content advertising agency, and a partner and co-founder of A More Perfect Story, Kirk Cheyfitz is a recognized pioneer in non-traditional advertising and content marketing, an award-winning journalist, author of business and children’s books, speaker and entrepreneur. He was a Pulitzer finalist for investigative reporting at the Detroit Free Press and a finalist for the National Magazine Award, among many national and regional journalism honors. A former senior executive at McCann Worldgroup before starting his own agency, he has created work for global clients, including Unilever, General Mills, Lexus Division of Toyota, Google, Bank of America and many nonprofits, such as The Carnegie Corporation. He is a long-time member of the Global Advisory Board of the Wharton School’s Future of Advertising Program.

  • Erica Ciszek
    frank Prize FInalist

    Erica Ciszek, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in Integrated Strategic Communication. She is a New England native, hailing from Boston where she worked as a strategic analyst for Mullen Advertising and Public Relations. She has worked in strategic analytics, market research and has contributed to LGBT newspapers and magazines in New England. Dr. Ciszek’s research is focused on the intersections of identity, communication and technology and how organizations communicate with marginalized and minority populations. Her research has been published in peer reviewed journals, including Public Relations Review and the Journal of Public Relations. She has a chapter in the first ever book on LGBT issues in strategic communication.

  • Elizabeth Cushing
    Playworks

    Elizabeth Cushing, president and COO, has been with Playworks for ten years and has taken on ever-increasing responsibility in strategic growth planning, development, foundation relations, communications, and spearheading Playworks’ partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to achieve scale. Elizabeth has more than 20 years of nonprofit management experience with youth development and children-serving organizations. As president, Elizabeth leads the senior management team and is responsible for ensuring that all strategic targets are met across the organization.

  • Andy Goodman
    The Goodman Center

    Andy Goodman is co-founder and director of The Goodman Center, which teaches communications and marketing professionals how to reach more people with more impact. Along with Storytelling as Best Practice, he is author of Why Bad Ads Happen to Good Causes and Why Bad Presentations Happen to Good Causes. He also publishes a monthly journal, free-range thinking, to share best practices in the field of public interest communications.

    Andy is internationally known for his speeches and workshops on storytelling and has led over 500 trainings for clients including CARE, The Nature Conservancy, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, NOAA, the San Diego Zoo, MIT, Princeton, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, GE, Bank of America, and many others.

    He has designed communications curriculum for the College for Social Innovation in Boston as well as for the African Leadership University in Mauritius. When not teaching, traveling, or recovering from teaching and traveling, Andy serves on the board of directors of Imagine LA, a nonprofit working to end family homelessness in Los Angeles.

  • Georgia Hirsty
    Greenpeace US

    Georgia Faye Hirsty is the National Warehouse Program Manager for Greenpeace US and a member of its Action Team. In addition to being used for training, idea development, and action prep, Greenpeace Warehouses also serve as community centers, rooted in the understanding that Greenpeace’s mission necessarily includes real solidarity with other environmental and social justice work.

    Georgia is also the co-founder and co-director of Frailty Myths, an organization that is dismantling the impacts of patriarchy through hands on, skill-building workshops that empower participants.  She has been working in social and environmental justice movements for the past 10 years, focused specifically on both the use of peaceful direct action as a tactic for effecting meaningful change and developing, then implementing, experiential learning models that engender powerful, transformational moments in peoples’ lives.

  • Tom Liacas
    NetChange Consulting

    Tom Liacas cut his teeth as a strategist pioneering distributed organizing tactics as global coordinator of Adbusters’ Buy Nothing Day in the late nineties. In the course of his career, he has also spent time in academia, earning an M.A. in Media Studies.

    During his years in the private sector, he co-founded a publicly-traded social media agency, developed patented software and led online stakeholder dialogue projects.

    For the last few years, he has come back to his principal passion –  helping social movements and causes gain traction through the application of new networked strategies. He now divides his time between his position as Senior Strategist at NetChange Consulting and as founder/chief tinkerer at Blueprints for Change, his pro-bono project.

  • Annie Neimand
    frank Research Director and Principal Investigator

    For nearly five years, Annie Neimand has led the research arm of frank, connecting the field of public interest communications practitioners to research. She has worked as a research consultant for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the Rita Allen Foundation. She is part of the frank Academy Training team, where she integrates the research from a range of disciplines into communication trainings for scientists and non-profit leaders. Trainees have included scientists and program officers at the National Institute for Food and Agriculture; senior military officers from nations around the world for the U.S. Defense Department and State Department; scientists, program leaders and educators; and foundation and nonprofit communicators.

    Her writing has been featured in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, The Conversation, Quartz, Salon, The Huffington Post, and Newsweek. She has given many talks on the science of science communication, the science of storytelling, and the science of strategic communication for social change. Invited talks include, among others, the Stanford Social Innovation Reviews’ 2017 Nonprofit Management Institute, Media Impact Funders meetings on the science of science communication, and the Association of Independent Research Institutes. Annie is a trained qualitative researcher, with expertise in interviewing, focus groups and ethnography. She is finishing her Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of Florida. Her areas of study include the social and psychological underpinnings of public interest communications, science communication, and social movements.

  • Eli Pariser
    Good Media Group, Upworthy

    President of Good Media Group, Eli Pariser has dedicated his career to figuring out how technology can elevate important topics in the world — as an author, an online organizer, and most recently, as a co-founder of Upworthy. He is the author of the bestselling book “The Filter Bubble”.

    Eli served as the executive director of MoveOn.org from 2004-2009, growing membership to more than 5 million members and raising over $120 million. He also co-founded Avaaz.org, which is now the largest online advocacy organization in the world. In 2011, Eli published the bestselling book “The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding from You.” Eli founded Upworthy with longtime collaborator Peter Koechley in March 2012. The pair set out to prove once and for all that what’s important can be incredibly popular, even if what’s popular isn’t usually important.

  • Tina Rosenberg
    Solutions Journalism Network, New York Times

    Tina Rosenberg, a co-founder of the Solutions Journalism Network, is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author.  She co-authors the “Fixes” column in the New York Times.  She is a former editorial writer for The New York Times and a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine.

    Her books include  Children of Cain: Violence and the Violent in Latin America and The Haunted Land: Facing Europe’s Ghosts After Communism, which won the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award.   She has written for dozens of magazines, including The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Foreign Policy and The Atlantic.  She is the author, most recently, of Join the Club: How Peer Pressure Can Transform the World.

  • Lisa Schneider
    Merriam-Webster

    Chief Digital Officer & Publisher at Merriam-Webster, Lisa Schneider leads digital and execution across content and product development, user experience, and technology. She has redefined the dictionary for the digital age through a combination of technology upgrades and content/social strategy, changing people’s perception of the brand from a “dusty book on the shelf” to a timely, relevant resource and commentary users turn to every day. Under her leadership, Merriam-Webster has won numerous awards, and she was recently featured on the AdAge Creativity 50 list.

    Previously, Lisa held executive roles in digital strategy and product development at Penton, Budget Travel, Reader’s Digest, and Bridal Guide.

  • Hana Shepherd
    frank Prize Finalist

    Hana Shepherd is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Rutgers University. She received her Ph.D. from Princeton in 2011 and she was a Postdoctoral Research Associate and Lecturer at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and the Department of Psychology at Princeton University from 2011-2013. She studies social networks, culture and cognition, and organizations. She is interested in how different types of social processes contribute to social change. She uses diverse methods such as network analysis, lab and field-based experiments, interviews, and archival research. Her recent projects include a year-long field experiment in 56 middle schools that used theories about social norms in relation to social networks to change school-level behavioral patterns. Her current projects examine the relationship between organizational context and network structure; how organizations implement new law in schools and in local labor enforcement offices; and how social networks can best be leveraged for social change in workplaces.

  • Professor Toon
    Producer, Rapper, Songwriter

    Professor Toon, a Durham, NC, producer, rapper and songwriter, combines intricate detail in lyricism with a sharp delivery and niche cadences over a buffet of smooth, 808-heavy sonic backdrops. Professor Toon attended Durham School of the Arts but dropped out and chose to pursue a street education instead. Professor Toon’s music is full of self-reflection, anger and confidence and his live show is energetic, captivating and emotional, yet participatory. He has performed alongside touring acts including Danny Brown, Run The Jewels, Lil Dicky, Made of Oak, Cherub, Big KRIT, Meek Mill, Big Sean, August Alsina and Mike Posner.

  • Lizz Winstead
    Comedian, Author, Activist and host for frank2018

    Lizz Winstead has built her career hilariously responding to the world. As co-creator and head writer of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” Winstead has forever changed the way people get their news. As co-founder of Air America Radio, she laid the foundation for such personalities as Al Franken and Marc Maron, all while hosting her own show called “Unfiltered”, sharing the mic every morning with the amazing Rachel Maddow and Hip Hop legend, Chuck D.  She continues to tour, bringing her rapid response brand of comedy to theatres across the country and in 2014, was initiated into the Harvard Lampoon.

    Winstead has now taken her satirical brilliance one step further, combining it with her passion for reproductive justice to form her latest passion project, Lady Parts Justice, a non profit organization made up of comedians, writers and technologists creating videos that use humor and outrage to expose sexist, anti choice local politicians in all 50 state legislatures while providing support to clinics around the country, working to remove the stigma around abortion.

    Winstead’s activism includes an ongoing comedy tour to raise money and awareness for Planned Parenthood and independent abortion providers and to date, she has raised over $7 million. The tour was turned into a documentary short called Smear Campaign, which won “Best Documentary Comedy Short” at the Atlanta Documentary Film Festival. Her advocacy work has been recognized by many reproductive rights organizations including NARAL Champion’s of Choice awards.

    In addition to performing and reproductive justice work, Winstead authored Lizz Free Or Die, a funny and touching book of personal essays, that Elle magazine called, “Sharply witty and iconoclastic”

    Lizz’s talents as a comedian and media visionary have been recognized by The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Entertainment Weekly’s 100 most Creative People issue among other print media. Winstead continues to appear on Comedy Central, HBO’s Real Time With Bill Maher and NPR, as well as her regular commentary on MSNBC

  • Travis Atria
    Author, Musician

    Travis Atria, MAMC 2007, is the co-author of Traveling Soul: The Life of Curtis Mayfield, a recently published book on soul musician Curtis Mayfield. Mayfield was one of the seminal vocalists and most talented guitarists of his era. He was known for his role a social critic and his music had a vital influence on the civil rights movement.

    Atria, a resident of Gainesville, is a writer, audio engineer and musician. His work has been featured in print and online magazines including Wax Poetics, Rolling Stone, The Believer, Paste and many more. Previously, he worked for ten years for The Gainesville Sun as the arts and culture correspondent. His music has been featured on television and in film and he has performed at Bonnaroo and SXSW. On October 14, Gold Robot Records will release a remastered cut of his band Morning Bell’s 2013 album, “Boa Noite.”

    In Traveling Soul, Atria and Mayfield’s son Todd, tell the story of a man who was born into dire poverty and raised in the slums of Chicago yet became a musical prodigy. In the 1960s he became a pioneer, opening his own label and production company and working with many other top artists, including the Staple Singers. Curtis’s life was famously cut short by an accident that left him paralyzed, but in his declining health he received the long-awaited recognition of the music industry.

  • Duane Bray
    IDEO

    Duane Bray, partner at IDEO and global head of talent for the firm is passionate about workplace innovation, values and purpose and aligning business needs with individual passions.

    Duane has a long history at IDEO, joining in 1995 to lead and develop the discipline of interaction design, now one of the firm’s most sought-after capabilities. For years he led the firm’s digital business, working in San Francisco and London, and developing relationships across consumer software, mobile and tablet and web services.

    With a background in communication design and interaction design, Duane has led or contributed to scores of projects at IDEO, from digital products and services, to organizational strategies. His clients include American Express, BMW, Lincoln Center and United Airlines among many others.

    His work today in talent covers the spectrum from attracting talent to building cultures of learning to establishing best practices around benefits and policies. His work is both inwardly and outwardly focused, balancing IDEO’s talent strategy with advisement and consulting for clients.

    Prior to IDEO, Duane worked at Pentagram Design, where he established an interaction design practice in their San Francisco studio. Duane holds an MF from the University of Florida and was recently awarded an Outstanding Achievement Award as a prestigious alumnus. Duane counts bubblegum pop music and his customized Mini Cooper among his other passions and pursuits.

  • Troy Campbell
    Design Psychologist, frank Research Chair

    Troy Campbell is a design psychologist who uses and develops psychology theories to design better experiences, communications, and understandings of people.

    He studies what people love, like, and find most important from our favorite hobbies to our cherished beliefs. Through these ideas, he studies how we can sometimes lie to ourselves, how we can enjoy life and how we can be better people to ourselves and others.

     Formally, he studies consumer enjoyment, identity, and overcoming resistance in communication (such as scientific communication). He received his Ph.D from Duke University, formerly worked as a Disney Imagineer, and grew up in the shadows of Hollywood working in film and web media. In high school he won “most likely to join the circus” for his enthusiasm and acrobatics. He does fewer backflips today but still signs every email, “Enthusiastically, Troy.”

  • Ann Christiano
    Frank Karel Chair in Public Interest Communications

    Ann Christiano is the Frank Karel Chair in Public Interest Communications at the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications, where she is working to establish public interest communications as a discipline through which people use strategic communications to drive social change.

    She is developing an undergraduate and graduate-level curriculum, and directs the frank gathering, which brings together strategists, funders and scholars who work to build a better world. She also directs frank academy, a communications development program for scientists and changemakers.

    Before she joined UF, she was a senior communications officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, where she directed communications efforts for programs focused on improving mental health, advancing long term care, reducing violence and improving health for people in jail and prison.

  • Sarah Corbett
    Craftivist Collective

    Sarah Corbett is an award-winning campaigner. She grew up in a low-income area of the UK into an activist family and has worked as a professional for 10 years, most recently with Oxfam GB.

    She started doing craftivism (craft + activism) in 2008 as a reaction to traditional aggressive or quick forms of activism. Due to demand Sarah set up the global and award-winning Craftivist Collective in 2009 which now has thousands of supporters across the world taking part in her craftivism projects. Corbett is one of the leading spokespeople in the craftivism movement (with media across the world including French TV & Italian TV) contributing to books and regularly gives talks & lectures around the world including Bauhaus University and Beckmans in Stockholm.

    Sarah works with art institutions such as V&A & Tate as well as a consultant for charities such as Save the Children & Unicef. She has collaborated with cult jewellers Tatty Devine & Secret Cinema amongst others. Sarah also sells products & exhibits her own craftivism work around the world. Her book “A Little Book of Craftivism’” was released October 2013. Her book “How To Be A Craftivist: the art of gentle protest” was released October 2017.

  • Aaron Foley
    City of Detroit

    Aaron Foley is the chief storyteller for the City of Detroit, a newly appointed position created by Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. As chief storyteller, Aaron manages a newly created news site, TheNeighborhoods.org, as well as executive produces video content for Channel 21, one of the city’s four cable channels — all with the goal of sharing stories of Detroiters across the city.

    Aaron is the editor of “The Detroit Neighborhood Guidebook” (August 2017) and “How to Live in Detroit Without Being a Jackass” (December 2015). Prior to joining the City of Detroit, Aaron was editor of BLAC Detroit Magazine and has freelanced for several national and local publications. He is a Detroit native and resident.

  • Fritz Grobe & Stephen Voltz
    Eepybird Studios

    Stephen Voltz and Fritz Grobe are the co-founders of Eepybird Studios, which has been a pioneer in creating viral videos for global brands since 2006.

    From their classic video featuring the explosive combination of Coke and Mentos, which Advertising Age called “the most important commercial content of the year,” to their viral campaigns for brands like Disney, OfficeMax, Coca-Cola, and McDonald’s, Eepybird Studios’ videos have been seen over 150 million times. They have received two Emmy nominations and four Webby Awards for their viral video work, and Eepybird was voted “Game Changer of the Decade” on GoViral.com.

    Stephen and Fritz have appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman, Ellen, The Today Show, Mythbusters, and more. They have performed in Las Vegas, New York, Paris, London, Tokyo, and Istanbul.

    They come by their rigorously analytical approach to Internet video honestly. Stephen has a law degree from NYU and practiced as a trial lawyer in Boston for 20 years. Fritz studied mathematics at Yale University until he dropped out of school to become an award-winning circus performer.

  • Jeff Kreisler
    Comedian & Author

    Jeff Kreisler is just a typical Princeton educated lawyer turned speaker, award-winning comedian, best-selling author, pundit and champion for behavioral science. He uses humor & reason to understand, explain and change the world.

    His second book, Dollars And Sense: How We Misthink Money and How To Spend Smarter – about behavioral economics, co-written with Dan Ariely – was published by HarperCollins in November 2017 to unrealistic acclaim*.

    Jeff is also Editor-in-Chief of PeopleScience.com (forthcoming site advocating applied behavioral science), won the Bill Hicks Spirit Award for Thought Provoking Comedy, writes for TV, politicians & CEOs, has appeared regularly on CNN, FoxNews, MSNBC, Current TV & Sirius/XM and toured most of the known world.

    The New York Times calls him “Delectable,” Rachel Maddow says, “You’ll be laughing all the way to the bank” and his kids still think he’s “cool.”  

    He specializes in money, politics and other human behavior.

    His first book was the satire Get Rich Cheating.

  • Tania Mejia
    Jolt

    Tania Mejia is the communications director at Jolt, a Texas-based nonprofit working to increase Latino civic engagement. Tania oversees earned media and digital strategies to spur young people to action.

    Previously, Tania worked as State Deputy Digital Director for Hillary for America in Florida. Tania helped build the state’s digital team and oversaw the SMS program, reaching almost 3 million voters. She also managed a digital organizing training program for 700 field organizers.

    In 2015, Tania served as Deputy Press Secretary for the U.S. General Services Administration. In this role, Tania was responsible for developing and executing communications strategies for the agency’s technology portfolio. She was also responsible for managing the agency’s digital communications program.

    Prior to joining the U.S. General Services, Tania served as Special Assistant to the U.S. Secretary of Labor. She helped plan and execute communications campaigns to support White House priorities including raising the minimum wage, modernizing overtime pay rules and promoting paid leave in the workplace. She also served as on-the-record spokesperson for paid leave and LGBT labor issues for national news outlets.

  • Jeff Orlowski
    Exposure Labs

    Jeff Orlowski is an Emmy-winning filmmaker and founder of Exposure Labs. His latest project, Chasing Coral, is a documentary film about divers, scientists and photographers around the world who mount an epic underwater campaign to document the disappearance of coral reefs. This work continues the momentum of Chasing Ice, for which Orlowski also served as director, producer and cinematographer. After premiering at Sundance, Chasing Ice received an Academy Award® nomination, and won an Emmy® award for Outstanding Nature Programming. In 2016, Orlowski was named the inaugural Sundance Discovery Impact Fellow for environmental filmmaking.

    To maximize the impact of film, Orlowski founded Exposure Labs, a company dedicated to both quality storytelling and powerful campaigns. For their work on Chasing Ice, Exposure Labs won the 2016 BritDoc Impact Award recognizing “documentaries that have made the biggest impact on society.”

    In 2017, Chasing Coral released globally on Netflix as a Netflix Original Documentary, was awarded the US Documentary Award at Sundance and has received many other awards and accolades at film festivals around the globe.

  • Saleem Reshamwala
    Kid Ethnic

    Saleem Reshamwala is a mediamaker whose recent work has focused on culture, race and music. Recent awards include Best Music Video at the Hip Hop Film Festival in Harlem (for G Yamazawa’s  “North Cack”) and an Emmy-nomination for his work on implicit bias and race while at the New York Times.

    Saleem has also created work for The Guardian, LinkedIn, Soccer.com and the PBS Digital Studios series Beat Making Lab, for which he filmed rappers and beatmakers in Senegal, Ethiopia, Fiji, Panama, Haiti and the Democratic Republic of Congo. He has studied, worked or hung out in 50 countries.

  • Chelsea Schein
    frank Prize Finalist

    Chelsea Schein is a doctoral candidate in social psychology at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Schein is committed to contributing to the scientific understanding of morality. In her research, she adopt methods of social cognition to explore how people form moral judgments and how understanding our moral psychology can increase well-being and create a more tolerant society. Her work has been published in many top academic journals, including: Personality and Social Psychology Review, Emotion, Psychological Inquiry, Journal of Experimental Psychology, and Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. As a doctoral student, she works alongside Dr. Kurt Gray, assistant professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, in the Mind Perception and Morality Lab. As a graduate student, she developed and taught courses on applying principles of social psychology to pressing social concerns.

  • Bahia Shehab
    American University in Cairo

    Bahia Shehab is associate professor of design and founder of the graphic design program at the American University in Cairo where she developed a full design curriculum focused on the visual culture of the Arab world. Her artwork has been on display in museums, galleries and streets around the world, and was featured in the 2015 documentary Nefertiti’s Daughters.

    She is the recipient of many international recognitions and awards, which include the UNESCO-Sharjah Prize for Arab Culture (2016), Prince Claus Award (2016), TED Senior fellowship (2016), BBC 100 Women list (2013). Her publications include A Thousand Times NO: The Visual History of Lam-Alif.

  • Michael Tran
    Playworks

    Michael Tran (aka MT) got introduced to Playworks back in 2008 as a Flex Coordinator. He continued as a full-time Program Coordinator at an East San Jose school from 2008-2010. After his two years of bringing safe meaningful play directly to students, he served as a Program Manager where he supported a team of Program Coordinators bring play to their schools and communities.

    Over the past 5 years, he has been a National Trainer where he has trained and supported adults in building play at their school sites and youth development programs. His current role with Playworks is Master Trainer. Throughout his time with Playworks he has developed a great passion for play and what it can do to bring people together, as well as a pretty mean pirate accent.

    He is looking forward to sharing this passion for play and all that he has learned with everyone who is as passionate about bringing play into their lives. When he is not playing, he loves to do his other passion which is belting out songs as he sings along on the radio in the privacy of his car.

  • Eric Asche
    Truth Initiative

    CMO of Truth Initiative, Eric Asche is credited with developing some of the most successful, life-saving public education campaigns in history. The truth brand is ubiquitous in pop culture and was named one of the top campaigns of the 21st Century by AdAge.

    Before joining Truth Initiative, he was at GSD&M in Austin, Texas. There, he worked on a portfolio of brands that included AT&T, Southwest Airlines and Rolling Stone.

    Prior to that, Eric was part of a business development team at a technology start-up during the dot-com boom…and bust. You can ask him about lessons learned over a beer.

    Eric is known as a creative leader and was named a top health influencer by PRWeek in 2016.  He is attached to campaigns that have won hundreds of industry awards over the years, and most importantly, have been credited with saving hundreds of thousands of young people from becoming addicted to cigarettes.

    He lives in DC with his wife and three small boys.  As such, he consumes copious amounts of coffee.

  • Benjamin Booker
    Musician

    As a University of Florida College of Journalism graduate, Benjamin Booker already has a name for himself here in Gainesville. While Booker is an accomplished musician, having played at festivals the likes of SXSW, he also uses his talent to preach for change. More specifically, Booker is outspoken about his convictions considering police violence, the social issues surrounding the black community as a whole, and gun violence. In the songful track titled “Witness”, Booker speaks out about the false pretenses that often mean the life of another black person. He sings, “Thought that we saw that he had a gun / Thought that it looked like he started to run.”

  • Nick Briz
    New-media Artist

    Nick Briz is a new-media artist, educator and organizer based in Chicago, IL. His work focuses on digital culture by investigating the promises and perils of living in an increasingly digital and networked world. He is an active participant in various online communities and conversations including glitch art, net art, remix culture, digital rights, Internet ecology and digital literacy.

    His work has been exhibited internationally at major festivals such as FILE Media Arts Festival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and the Images Festival in Toronto Canada, as well as major cultural institutions such as the Museum of Moving Image in New York City, the Museo De Arte Contemporaneo de Caracas, Venezuela and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Tate Exchange in London, among others. His work has been reviewed and discussed in international print publications and online platforms such as Neural Magazine (Bari, Italy), Rhizome.org (NYC) and Furtherfield (London) which are among the most influential in the field of New Media Art, as well as in traditional news outlets such as the Boston Globe, El Mundo (Spain), El Espectador (Colombia), and in an array of art and design publications including VICE, Fast Company, Art Slant and Complex.

    He is Adjunct Assistant Professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago as well as the Chief Creative Director of the digital agency Branger_Briz, a collective of artists, strategists, educators and programmers specializing in conceiving and developing custom innovative digital projects for a wide range of clients. As an organizer he has been invited to curate events at various international galleries and conferences, he co-founded and ran an international New Media Art conference called GLI.TC/H (2010-2012), co-ran an experimental performance series in Chicago called NO-MEDIA (2012-2016), and is currently co-organizing a lecture series called d.r.e.a.m. (data rules everything around me).

  • Kirk Cheyfitz
    A More Perfect Story

    Founder of Story Worldwide, the path-breaking content advertising agency, and a partner and co-founder of A More Perfect Story, Kirk Cheyfitz is a recognized pioneer in non-traditional advertising and content marketing, an award-winning journalist, author of business and children’s books, speaker and entrepreneur. He was a Pulitzer finalist for investigative reporting at the Detroit Free Press and a finalist for the National Magazine Award, among many national and regional journalism honors. A former senior executive at McCann Worldgroup before starting his own agency, he has created work for global clients, including Unilever, General Mills, Lexus Division of Toyota, Google, Bank of America and many nonprofits, such as The Carnegie Corporation. He is a long-time member of the Global Advisory Board of the Wharton School’s Future of Advertising Program.

  • Erica Ciszek
    frank Prize FInalist

    Erica Ciszek, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in Integrated Strategic Communication. She is a New England native, hailing from Boston where she worked as a strategic analyst for Mullen Advertising and Public Relations. She has worked in strategic analytics, market research and has contributed to LGBT newspapers and magazines in New England. Dr. Ciszek’s research is focused on the intersections of identity, communication and technology and how organizations communicate with marginalized and minority populations. Her research has been published in peer reviewed journals, including Public Relations Review and the Journal of Public Relations. She has a chapter in the first ever book on LGBT issues in strategic communication.

  • Elizabeth Cushing
    Playworks

    Elizabeth Cushing, president and COO, has been with Playworks for ten years and has taken on ever-increasing responsibility in strategic growth planning, development, foundation relations, communications, and spearheading Playworks’ partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to achieve scale. Elizabeth has more than 20 years of nonprofit management experience with youth development and children-serving organizations. As president, Elizabeth leads the senior management team and is responsible for ensuring that all strategic targets are met across the organization.

  • Andy Goodman
    The Goodman Center

    Andy Goodman is co-founder and director of The Goodman Center, which teaches communications and marketing professionals how to reach more people with more impact. Along with Storytelling as Best Practice, he is author of Why Bad Ads Happen to Good Causes and Why Bad Presentations Happen to Good Causes. He also publishes a monthly journal, free-range thinking, to share best practices in the field of public interest communications.

    Andy is internationally known for his speeches and workshops on storytelling and has led over 500 trainings for clients including CARE, The Nature Conservancy, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, NOAA, the San Diego Zoo, MIT, Princeton, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, GE, Bank of America, and many others.

    He has designed communications curriculum for the College for Social Innovation in Boston as well as for the African Leadership University in Mauritius. When not teaching, traveling, or recovering from teaching and traveling, Andy serves on the board of directors of Imagine LA, a nonprofit working to end family homelessness in Los Angeles.

  • Georgia Hirsty
    Greenpeace US

    Georgia Faye Hirsty is the National Warehouse Program Manager for Greenpeace US and a member of its Action Team. In addition to being used for training, idea development, and action prep, Greenpeace Warehouses also serve as community centers, rooted in the understanding that Greenpeace’s mission necessarily includes real solidarity with other environmental and social justice work.

    Georgia is also the co-founder and co-director of Frailty Myths, an organization that is dismantling the impacts of patriarchy through hands on, skill-building workshops that empower participants.  She has been working in social and environmental justice movements for the past 10 years, focused specifically on both the use of peaceful direct action as a tactic for effecting meaningful change and developing, then implementing, experiential learning models that engender powerful, transformational moments in peoples’ lives.

  • Tom Liacas
    NetChange Consulting

    Tom Liacas cut his teeth as a strategist pioneering distributed organizing tactics as global coordinator of Adbusters’ Buy Nothing Day in the late nineties. In the course of his career, he has also spent time in academia, earning an M.A. in Media Studies.

    During his years in the private sector, he co-founded a publicly-traded social media agency, developed patented software and led online stakeholder dialogue projects.

    For the last few years, he has come back to his principal passion –  helping social movements and causes gain traction through the application of new networked strategies. He now divides his time between his position as Senior Strategist at NetChange Consulting and as founder/chief tinkerer at Blueprints for Change, his pro-bono project.

  • Annie Neimand
    frank Research Director and Principal Investigator

    For nearly five years, Annie Neimand has led the research arm of frank, connecting the field of public interest communications practitioners to research. She has worked as a research consultant for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the Rita Allen Foundation. She is part of the frank Academy Training team, where she integrates the research from a range of disciplines into communication trainings for scientists and non-profit leaders. Trainees have included scientists and program officers at the National Institute for Food and Agriculture; senior military officers from nations around the world for the U.S. Defense Department and State Department; scientists, program leaders and educators; and foundation and nonprofit communicators.

    Her writing has been featured in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, The Conversation, Quartz, Salon, The Huffington Post, and Newsweek. She has given many talks on the science of science communication, the science of storytelling, and the science of strategic communication for social change. Invited talks include, among others, the Stanford Social Innovation Reviews’ 2017 Nonprofit Management Institute, Media Impact Funders meetings on the science of science communication, and the Association of Independent Research Institutes. Annie is a trained qualitative researcher, with expertise in interviewing, focus groups and ethnography. She is finishing her Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of Florida. Her areas of study include the social and psychological underpinnings of public interest communications, science communication, and social movements.

  • Eli Pariser
    Good Media Group, Upworthy

    President of Good Media Group, Eli Pariser has dedicated his career to figuring out how technology can elevate important topics in the world — as an author, an online organizer, and most recently, as a co-founder of Upworthy. He is the author of the bestselling book “The Filter Bubble”.

    Eli served as the executive director of MoveOn.org from 2004-2009, growing membership to more than 5 million members and raising over $120 million. He also co-founded Avaaz.org, which is now the largest online advocacy organization in the world. In 2011, Eli published the bestselling book “The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding from You.” Eli founded Upworthy with longtime collaborator Peter Koechley in March 2012. The pair set out to prove once and for all that what’s important can be incredibly popular, even if what’s popular isn’t usually important.

  • Tina Rosenberg
    Solutions Journalism Network, New York Times

    Tina Rosenberg, a co-founder of the Solutions Journalism Network, is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author.  She co-authors the “Fixes” column in the New York Times.  She is a former editorial writer for The New York Times and a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine.

    Her books include  Children of Cain: Violence and the Violent in Latin America and The Haunted Land: Facing Europe’s Ghosts After Communism, which won the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award.   She has written for dozens of magazines, including The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Foreign Policy and The Atlantic.  She is the author, most recently, of Join the Club: How Peer Pressure Can Transform the World.

  • Lisa Schneider
    Merriam-Webster

    Chief Digital Officer & Publisher at Merriam-Webster, Lisa Schneider leads digital and execution across content and product development, user experience, and technology. She has redefined the dictionary for the digital age through a combination of technology upgrades and content/social strategy, changing people’s perception of the brand from a “dusty book on the shelf” to a timely, relevant resource and commentary users turn to every day. Under her leadership, Merriam-Webster has won numerous awards, and she was recently featured on the AdAge Creativity 50 list.

    Previously, Lisa held executive roles in digital strategy and product development at Penton, Budget Travel, Reader’s Digest, and Bridal Guide.

  • Hana Shepherd
    frank Prize Finalist

    Hana Shepherd is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Rutgers University. She received her Ph.D. from Princeton in 2011 and she was a Postdoctoral Research Associate and Lecturer at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and the Department of Psychology at Princeton University from 2011-2013. She studies social networks, culture and cognition, and organizations. She is interested in how different types of social processes contribute to social change. She uses diverse methods such as network analysis, lab and field-based experiments, interviews, and archival research. Her recent projects include a year-long field experiment in 56 middle schools that used theories about social norms in relation to social networks to change school-level behavioral patterns. Her current projects examine the relationship between organizational context and network structure; how organizations implement new law in schools and in local labor enforcement offices; and how social networks can best be leveraged for social change in workplaces.

  • Professor Toon
    Producer, Rapper, Songwriter

    Professor Toon, a Durham, NC, producer, rapper and songwriter, combines intricate detail in lyricism with a sharp delivery and niche cadences over a buffet of smooth, 808-heavy sonic backdrops. Professor Toon attended Durham School of the Arts but dropped out and chose to pursue a street education instead. Professor Toon’s music is full of self-reflection, anger and confidence and his live show is energetic, captivating and emotional, yet participatory. He has performed alongside touring acts including Danny Brown, Run The Jewels, Lil Dicky, Made of Oak, Cherub, Big KRIT, Meek Mill, Big Sean, August Alsina and Mike Posner.

2016 Best Nonprofit Conference

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In appeciation for the efforts made in order to create a sustainable event, frank2018 has achieved a Green-Certified sustainable event rating by the UF Office of Sustainability.

Our sponsors

We are forever grateful to our sponsors and their continued commitment to frank and public interest communications.

Presenting Sponsors
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Platinum Sponsors 

Gold Sponsors
  • Anonymous
  • The Joy McCann Foundation

Bronze Sponsors

  • Al and Nancy Burnett Charitable Foundation
  • California Healthcare Foundation
  • Community Foundation of Sarasota County
  • The Karel Endowment for Public Interest Communications
  • Neimand Collaborative
  • Visit Gainesville
  • UF College of Journalism and Communications

Please contact frank@jou.ufl.edu for information on becoming a sponsor.